An Algorithm is described as a breakthrough, discovery, and conclusion. The latest Triple Crown trail discovery, Algorithms lived up to his name on
Sunday, January 29, 2012 with a decisive conquest in the Holy Bull Stakes (G-3).
Breaking alertly from post six, the Todd
Pletcher trainee was briefly in the lead before giving way to the Breeders’ Cup
Juvenile Champ Hansen. Algorithms settled
comfortably into third place on the outside of Silver Max, while Hansen set
brisk fractions of :23.64 and :45.67 over a sloppy sealed track. Algorithms traveled three wide on the turn and
easily passed a tired, struggling Hansen in mid-stretch, galloping to an easy
five length victory. Algorithms completed the one mile race in 1:36.17. The bay
colt is undefeated in three starts and is the latest addition to the Derby
lists. Let’s check the data to determine
if this particular Algorithms fits the profile for a Classic winner.
ALGORITHMS (Bernardini - Ava
Knowsthecode, by Cryptoclearance) was sired by this year’s leading third crop
stallion Bernardini. On the racetrack, Bernardini
didn’t start his career until January of his three year old season. After winning his maiden in his second start,
Bernardini jumped immediately into graded stakes competition with an easy win
in the Withers Stakes (G-3). The dark
bay tested deeper waters in his next start.
In a match-up against Kentucky Derby hero Barbaro, Bernardini demolished
a full field of top three year olds by 5 ¼ lengths in the Preakness Stakes. Unfortunately,
his runaway victory was marred by Barbaro’s tragic breakdown. Bernardini
skipped the Belmont Stakes, but recorded wins in the Jim Dandy (G-2) and
Travers Stakes (G-1). After another
overpowering success in the Travers, Bernardini faced older horses in Jockey
Club Gold Cup (G-1). The small field of three was no match for the young
superstar and they suffered a crushing 6 ¾ length defeat. The highly anticipated 2006 Breeders’ Cup
Classic was was to be Bernardini's coronation. However, the three year old colt suffered the second
loss of his career, beaten only a length by the five year old, Urugauyan champion Invasor. Despite his loss, Bernardini earned 2006 Champion 3-Year-Old honors for his previous exploits.
Retired to stud after racing only one year, Bernardini is off to a
brilliant start at stud. In his first crop, Bernardini sired Travers hero and
Belmont Stakes runner-up Stay Thirsty, To Honor And Serve, the winner of the Florida
and Pennsylvania Derbies and Santa Anita Oaks heroine A Z Warrior. The propitious young Bernardini is poised to
become a successor to his now retired sire A.P. Indy in getting stamina
The well-bred Algorithms is descended from a female family filled
with stakes winners. His sturdy dam Ava
Knowsthecode faced the starter 29 times in four years. She compiled a 3-5-3
race record and earnings of $156,596. The daughter of Cryptoclearance was a
dependable allowance class mare who placed third in the Senorita Stakes (G-3)
at Hollywood Park. Although she placed
second in her first race sprinting over dirt, Ava Knowsthecode spent her career
on the lawn and was successful up to 1 1/16 miles.
The 18 year old mare has proven herself as a strong
broodmare. Besides her youngest racing
son Algorithms, Ava Knowsthecode bore his older half-brother, Grade 2 winner
Keyed Entry, who set a new track record
in the Hutcheson Stakes at Gulfstream Park, getting 7 1/2 furlongs in 1:27.12. She also produced the Grade 2 winning
miler Justin Philip as well as the listed winners Successful Mission and
Alex’s Allure. Overall, Ava Knowsthecode
has propagated five stakes winners from six foals to race. Algorithms second dam Ava Romance was a
stakes winner and his third and fourth dams also owned blacktype.
Cryptoclearance, the damsire of Algorithms, competed at the
highest level of racing for four years. The Florida Derby champ finished fourth
in the 1987 Kentucky Derby, but followed up with second and third place
finishes, respectively, in the Preakness and Belmont Stakes. Cryptoclearance
improved with racing and maturity. Racing against legendary heroes Alysheba,
Easy Goer and Crème Fraiche, Cryptoclearance was often second, but at the age
of five, he won two Grade 1 events, the 1 1/8 mile Donn Handicap and 1 ¼ mile
As a broodmare sire, the long-winded router is represented by 36
stakes winners. While the majority are best up to 1 1/8 miles, four are stakes winners
at 1 ¼ miles and three have been successful at 1 ½ miles. One of his daughter’s
foals, the Brazilian-bred Quadriball, has similar breeding to Algorithms, as
both are by sons of A.P. Indy. Quadriball is a Group 3 winner at 1 ¼ miles.
Tossing even more stamina into Algorithms pedigree is his second
damsire, the 1975 Belmont Stakes Champ Avatar, who was twice successful at 1 ½ miles.
Physically, Algorithms is a well conformed colt, with a muscular
neck and chest tying into a fairly deep and slanted shoulder. He’s built like a
two-turn horse with a powerful, but not overly muscular hind-end. His cannons appear a bit longer than average;
however, this doesn’t detract from his total appearance. His leg extension is
average, but he runs straight, with no excess movement. He’s shown the ability
to relax off the pace and quicken in the lane.
With stamina throughout his pedigree and a mature, relaxed running
style, Algorithms fits the profile of a Classic winner. An added bonus is his now proven ability over
an off track, as two of the last three Kentucky Derbies were contested over a
sloppy track. Keep this encouraging young colt on your Derby list.
-By HRN Pedigree Expert, Laurie Ross